Jan 25th 2018

Atari wants RollerCoaster Tycoon for the Switch to be crowdfunded

Atari Game Partners seems to be making some confusing choices. They’ve announced that they’re bringing a RollerCoaster Tycoon game to the Switch, but also that it’s going to be funded through “equity crowdfunding.” Which means they need people to invest their own money into the game, but they'll get a chance at a return on their investment.
Since they are trying to sell people on the new RollerCoaster Tycoon, it is no surprise that they leave out the failures the series has had. Instead they try and woo potential investors by talking about how Atari is a famous company that’s done this successfully plenty of times, and how beloved the series is for gamers. The focus was very heavily on RollerCoaster Tycoon Touch, but with the pre alpha footage (and a few other things) it looks like that is because the two games will be very similar.

The game is being developed by Nvizzio Creations, which is the company that developed RollerCoaster Tycoon Touch. However, they also had a hand in RollerCoaster Tycoon World, which isn’t looked at very favorably. So they have experience, but it’s both good and bad subjectively.

One thing that is bothersome about this is at the end of the project and is titled “Irregular Use of Proceeds.” Essentially saying they can use the investment money however they see fit, even if it isn’t in a way that helps the game, and can't get in legal trouble from using the money. The direct quote is, “We might incur Irregular Use of Proceeds that may include but are not limited to the following over $10,000: Vendor payments and salary made to one's self, a friend or relative; Any expense labeled ‘Administration Expenses’ that is not strictly for administrative purposes; Any expense labeled ‘Travel and Entertainment’; Any expense that is for the purposes of inter-company debt or back payments.”

Another thing that may trouble some people is how much they keep comparing this game to RollerCoaster Tycoon Touch, which ran off of a free-to-play microtransaction model. From what’s presented it looks like they plan to charge for the game, but also plan to have some form of downloadable content players can pay for. Whether that will be DLC or microtransactions they didn’t say.

Atari Game Partners is using Start Engine to crowdfund the project. It has a minimum buy in of $250, and the disclaimers and money you’ll get if the game sells well is fairly normal. However, they’re only accepting investors in the US, at the moment at least. With 88 days left they’ve raised $22,600 from 37 investors, but need $2,000,000. They expect to release the game later in 2018, which means they must have a good amount done already. However, the trust people have in Atari handling RollerCoaster Tycoon does not seem like very much right now. It feels more like they're trying to get people to invest who only vaguely remember Atari from their youth. However, that's just what I think, what's your opinion on Atari doing this?